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Remembering George Clayton Johnson, 1929-2015

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2015 has been a particularly hard year in terms of Star Trek fans having to say goodbye to beloved favorites who made their mark on the franchise. Sadly, StarTrek.com must report on yet another passing. The iconic sci-fi author/screenwriter George Clayton Johnson, who holds the distinction of writing what turned out to be the first Star Trek episode ever to air, died on Christmas Day at the age of 86, several days after inaccurate news of his passing had circulated. Johnson's Star Trek: The Original Series episode was, of course, "The Man Trap."

Johnson wrote two other proposed TOS stories, but neither was realized. In addition to his Trek work, Johnson wrote stories or scripts for dozens of movies and television shows, including the original Ocean's 11, The Twilight Zone (several seminal episodes, including "Kick the Can"), Kung Fu and Logan's Run (with both the movie and ensuing series based on the novel of the same name he'd co-written with William F. Nolan). Additionally, he wrote many essays, poems, short stories and more, was a welcome presence for decades at conventions, and was proud to be a hippie.

Speaking in 2003 to the Archive of American Television, Johnson said the following: "I want to be remembered as a person who early on in his life took control of his life and set goals. When people gave me a lined paper, I wrote the other way. When people expect some certain behavior from me, I will frustrate their expectations."

Please join StarTrek.com in offering our condolences to Johnson's family, friends, colleagues and many fans around the world.

 

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